The Gulf News of Saturday, 27th March 2016 came out with a special post. It was about the final print edition of The Independent newspaper.
It may not be the only print news that is going to call it a day! Over the period of last few years, I have seen several print editions are becoming lesser and lesser attractive and dying a silent death. Some of them have been there for a long time and remained very special to many throughout their period of existence. One such print weekly was the “Young Times” by Khaleej Times. Once upon a time, it was the most popular weekly magazine of the kids in the region. It was taken out with the last edition coming in December 2008!
The popular magazine Young Times came to an end on 31st December 2008. As the saying goes there is destiny and fate and definite ending to all finite and infinite objects in this world, what a fitting departure date for this wonderful magazine for the young (and old).
I was lucky to read each and every issue that was published except the first two years of it’s entry into this media world. The habit of following the prints closely made me more attached to it and Young Times became an integral part of my family. Even the Bangladeshi newsboy Mamtaz who deliver it at home became our family friend. Many of you from the UAE including myself grew older with it, and the horizon of our bits and pieces of knowledge expanded with it. The team behind it did a great job for the children around. To compete with the visual world and stay alive is a big task and even during the final walks of their journey they remained totally committed for the cause of Young.
The final edition carried all those features that used to be there all these weeks and were more interesting than the previous ones.
I believe strongly that in the recent times very little has been done to improve and increase the art of reading from the print media.
Only one exception I can see is the efforts by The National newspaper to offer discounted rates to student subscribers. This is a commendable positive move to foster reading habits among children.
The art of reading and the art of reading out are very important to inculcate important values in life. More efforts should therefore be carried out by all those who love literacy and education to improve it. What should be done to attract young readers should be done without any slight hesitation. Time lost on this will be money that will be lost in future!.
Time to wake up.